As a child, did you ever play with a top? If so, when you spun the top it fun to watch it move around the top of a table. You allowed the top to spin on its own. If it got close to the edge of the table, you had the choice to intervene and stop it from falling, or you could allow it to fall. Now imagine if that top had its own consciousness and will.
Many people, even believers, ask how can a good, loving God allow evil to exist in the world. This is one of the spiritual realities that is difficult for our human intellect, not matter how sophisticated, to understand…
Isaiah 55:8-9 (NASB)
8 “For My thoughts are not your thoughts,
Nor are your ways My ways,” declares the Lord.
9 “For as the heavens are higher than the earth,
So are My ways higher than your ways
And My thoughts than your thoughts.
God created us for relationship. Real relationship. He doesn’t want robots, He wants to be loved. That’s why we want love and affirmation because we were created in His image. If God forced us to love Him, or if He forced us to believe, that love would not be genuine. If our actions were forced, they would not be from our hearts.
One spiritual reality is that you can’t have good without evil. In order to have the reality of good, there must be also the reality of it’s absence. Another spiritual reality is that if good always exists, then evil must also always exist, otherwise how would we know that ‘good’ is ‘good’. The good thing is that God has the power over both.
There must be a means for both good and evil to manifest for be displayed and exist. There must be a place for both to ‘reside’,
So, God gives us FREE WILL to come and go… to think for ourselves… to believe…to love… to reject…and to choose evil.
1. FREE WILL
Look at us, people, as that top spinning on the table. As we spin, if we have our on consciousness and will, we have a choice to choose where we spin on that table. We have the choice to choose good, and we have the choice to choose evil. If God forced us to choose good it would not be free will. God reserves the right to STOP us from falling off the table…to catch us if we fall…or to put us back on the table if we fall. Notice that when the end of time comes, God is not DESTROYING evil, He will SEPARATE good from evil…
Revelation 20:10-15 (NKJV)
10 The devil, who deceived them, was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone where[a] the beast and the false prophet are. And they will be tormented day and night forever and ever.
11 Then I saw a great white throne and Him who sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away. And there was found no place for them. 12 And I saw the dead, small and great, standing before [b]God, and books were opened. And another book was opened, which is the Book of Life. And the dead were judged according to their works, by the things which were written in the books. 13 The sea gave up the dead who were in it, and Death and Hades delivered up the dead who were in them. And they were judged, each one according to his works. 14 Then Death and Hades were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second [c]death. 15 And anyone not found written in the Book of Life was cast into the lake of fire.
It was the devil’s, who was originally an angel, choice to choose evil. That choice thus made him the personification of evil. He was the first to choose it, and it is in Him it resides.
John 8:44 (NKJV)
44 You are of your father the devil, and the desires of your father you want to do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own resources, for he is a liar and the father of it.
Any ‘villain’ in biblical history wasn’t cursed by God to be evil. Their heart made them an ideal place for evil to reside. From Pharaoh to Ahab to Jezabel to Judas to Herod…to Hitler, they chose evil. They were not ‘victims’ of God doomed to evil. Their hearts made their ‘house’ a comfortable home for evil.
2. HE USES BOTH GOOD AND EVIL FOR HIS PURPOSE
God uses everyone and everything He creates for His purpose. Sometimes He has to discipline those whom He loves, and those who choose Him. Sometimes He allows bad things to happen as judgment and as a consequence of people choosing evil to prove He is sovereign. Sometimes this is done through a natural disaster, but sometimes He does it through people. It was prophesied that the Lord would be betrayed. God was not going to use anyone who ‘chose’ good to do this, so Judas made himself that choice because of his heart…
John 17:12 (NKJV)
12 While I was with them [a]in the world, I kept them in [b]Your name. Those whom You gave Me I have kept; and none of them is [c]lost except the son of [d]perdition, that the Scripture might be fulfilled.
There were several occasions God used those who chose evil to fulfill His purpose…
Exodus 14:4 (NKJV)
4 Then I will harden Pharaoh’s heart, so that he will pursue them; and I will gain honor over Pharaoh and over all his army, that the Egyptians may know that I am the Lord.” And they did so.
Isaiah 10:5-12 (NKJV)
5 “Woe to Assyria, the rod of My anger
And the staff in whose hand is My indignation.
6 I will send him against an ungodly nation,
And against the people of My wrath
I will give him charge,
To seize the spoil, to take the prey,
And to tread them down like the mire of the streets.
7 Yet he does not mean so,
Nor does his heart think so;
But it is in his heart to destroy,
And cut off not a few nations.
8 For he says,
‘Are not my princes altogether kings?
9 Is not Calno like Carchemish?
Is not Hamath like Arpad?
Is not Samaria like Damascus?
10 As my hand has found the kingdoms of the idols,
Whose carved images excelled those of Jerusalem and Samaria,
11 As I have done to Samaria and her idols,
Shall I not do also to Jerusalem and her idols?’ ”
12 Therefore it shall come to pass, when the Lord has [a]performed all His work on Mount Zion and on Jerusalem, that He will say, “I will punish the fruit of the arrogant heart of the king of Assyria, and the glory of his haughty looks.”
3. GOD HAS AN ETERNAL PERSPECTIVE
I love the way that the Complete Jewish Bible translation refers to eternity as eternity past to eternity future…
Psalm 90:2 (CJB)
2 Before the mountains were born,
before you had formed the earth and the world,
from eternity past to eternity future
you are God.
God exists outside of time. He has not beginning or end. WHY GOD DOES NOT NEED AN ORIGIN STORY… So, everything God does is from an eternal perspective. No matter how ‘bad’ things may be for us now whether it be war, sickness, disease or disaster, He uses it for His purpose because He knows that even 1000 years from now, when we are experiencing eternal joy with Him, that the temporary ‘ugly things’ of life and time will not even matter. His eternal perspective can see that top spinning on the table, and He already knows that if it falls He will pick it up, or when the table is no more, He will hold the top in His hand.
Romans 8:18 (NKJV)
18 For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.
1 Corinthians 2:9 (NKJV)
9 But as it is written:
“Eye has not seen, nor ear heard,
Nor have entered into the heart of man
The things which God has prepared for those who love Him.”
So, when we see the extreme evils in the world… When we see the tragedy of children with horrible illnesses… When we see those who are evil doing what they please with what appears to be impunity… We must still trust God and know that He is working what is sometimes difficult for us to understand for His eternal purpose…
Ecclesiastes 5:8 (NKJV)
8 If you see the oppression of the poor, and the violent [a]perversion of justice and righteousness in a province, do not marvel at the matter; for high official watches over high official, and higher officials are over them.
Remember, that as we spin on the table, God’s eyes are always on us (El Roi: The God Who Sees Me). Choose Him. Trust Him. Love Him, Work for His purpose and He will work all things out for our good…even when we don’t understand.
Romans 8:28 (NKJV)
28 And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.